Honda Issues 2009 North American Environmental Report

10/20/2009 11:20:00 AM

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today released its fifth annual report on the company's environmental performance in North America. To help reduce the environmental impact of its environmental reporting activities, the company is releasing this year's report in electronic format only, and it has also launched a micro-site highlighting key elements of the report for stakeholders, consumers, and other audiences with an interest in Honda's environmental activities in the region. To view or download the complete report, go to the Environmental Report Web site or journalists can go to Honda's online media newsroom.

The 2009 North American Environmental Report covers the company's operations during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 (FY2009) and utilizes a lifecycle assessment (LCA) model to report on the environmental impact of Honda's R&D, manufacturing and sales activities in the North America region, encompassing the United States, Canada and Mexico. The report looks at the environmental performance of the company's automobile, powersports, and power equipment products, its 16 major manufacturing plants operating in North America in FY2009, and the corporate activities of 15 Honda group companies in the region.

The report also includes a detailed review of the various technology approaches that Honda is taking in its efforts to address the issue of global climate change as perhaps the most serious and far-reaching environmental issue facing society today.

"Despite the incredible challenges that our industry has faced over the past year, Honda remains committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its operations in North America," said Tetsuo Iwamura, chief operating officer of Honda's North American Regional Operation. "In fiscal year 2009, we took a number of significant steps to advance our environmental performance in both our products and production operations, including the introduction of the all-new Insight hybrid as the most affordable gasoline-electric car in North America, and the opening of two new zero-waste-to-landfill production facilities."

Following are highlights of the 2009 report:

Global Climate Change

  • Honda is working toward the achievement of voluntary targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions from its products and manufacturing operations on a global basis by 2010.
  • Honda is taking a portfolio approach to reducing CO2 emissions from its products, including advances to gasoline engine efficiency, expanded use of hybrid technology, deployment of advanced alternatives including natural gas- and hydrogen-powered vehicles, and new methods of alternative-energy production and distribution.

Honda and Acura Automobiles

  • American Honda's U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for model year 2008 rose to 30.3 mpg, up 3.8% from the model year 2001 baseline.
  • Honda is working to reduce the use of substances considered harmful to people and the environment and is applying the most stringent global regulatory requirements, where technically feasible, to all of its Honda and Acura products worldwide.

Powersports Products

  • All model year 2008 Honda motorcycles and ATVs met California and U.S. federal regulatory requirements for exhaust emissions.

Power Equipment and Marine Products

  • Honda's full-line of general-purpose engines met U.S. EPA exhaust emissions standards, while all Honda outboard marine engines sold in FY2009 were certified below 2008 California exhaust emissions standards - 65% below (cleaner than) what is required by the U.S. EPA.

Manufacturing

  • New Plants: Honda began operations at two new North American manufacturing*1 facilities in FY2009, expanding the company's ability to produce fuel-efficient Honda and Acura vehicles in a more environmentally responsible manner. Both are zero-waste-to-landfill operations.
  • Production Efficiency: Despite ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of production operations, Honda experienced an increase in per-unit measures of C02 emissions, energy consumption and water use in FY2009, due in large measure to the global economic downturn, which led to reduced capacity utilization and production efficiency.
  • Energy: per-unit energy consumed in automobile production rose 13.2% to 6.7 gigajoules (GJ), up from 6.2 GJ in FY2008, which was the lowest level in eight years.
  • CO2 Emissions: average per-unit CO2 emissions2 from automobile production of 747 kilograms rose 5.4% from the previous fiscal year, which was the lowest level in eight years.
  • Waste: total waste to landfills for all production activity was reduced 82.7% from FY2001 levels, substantially exceeding Honda's target of a 70% reduction. The company is targeting near-zero (less than 1%) waste to landfills for all plants in North America by FY2012.
  • Water: per-unit water consumption for automobile production rose 14.3%, to 800 gallons.
  • Air Emissions: emissions of volatile organic compounds from auto body painting (accounting for roughly 60% of all manufacturing-related VOC emissions) were down 2.5% from the previous fiscal year to 15.3 grams/m2, exceeding Honda's target of 20 grams/m2.

Product Distribution

  • CO2 emissions from the distribution of automobiles in North America were reduced 1,392 metric tons though the expanded use of more fuel-efficient Auto-Max rail cars.

Sales and Service

  • Honda implemented 47 projects in FY2009 to reduce packaging used in shipping Honda and Acura service parts, removing an estimated 970,000 pounds of wood and 653,000 pounds of plastic from the waste stream.

Product Recycling (End of Life)

  • Every Honda and Acura automobile sold in North America in FY2009 achieved a 90% or higher level of design recyclability3, helping to reduce inputs to the waste stream from a vehicle's disposal at the end of its useful life.

Green Building

  • Honda Aircraft Company, Inc.'s headquarters in Greensboro, NC, joined five other Honda facilities in North America that have attained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Additional information on Honda's environmental performance outside of North America can be found in Honda Motor Company's Environmental Report, with a focus on the company's activities in Japan - available at world.honda.com.

Honda Web site: http://www.honda.com
Honda Environmental Report: http://corporate.honda.com/environment/2009-report
Honda Multimedia Newsroom: http://www.hondanews.com
Honda on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/honda
Honda on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/alicia_at_honda
Honda on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/hondanews

1Honda and Acura products are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts
2CO2 emissions from the consumption of electricity and natural gas, representing about 96% of total direct CO2 emissions from Honda's North American manufacturing operations.
3Vehicle recyclability calculated using Honda's own internal methods, based on ISO standard 22628, titled "Road Vehicle Recyclability and Recoverability Calculation Method".